Marketization, Managerialism and Welfare State Professionalism
Edited by Tanja Klenk and Emmanuele Pavolini
In the last 20 years Western European Public Administrations (PAs) underwent a deep process of transformation, which usually takes the name of new public management (NPM). Among others, this NPM process took two relevant directions: a) an attempt to introduce more competition in the services’ provision; b) an attempt to change the way internal human resources of PAs were used, adopting a process of ‘managerialization’. The book studies the impact of marketization and managerialization in a specific part of Public Administration, namely welfare organizations. The focus on welfare organizations is justified not only by the fact that a good part of PA expenditure in general goes into the welfare state field. For instance around 65 percent of total EU-27 Public Sector expenditure goes to welfare state fields (including education and tertiary education). Moreover, the overall trend to marketize and managerialize public administration affects welfare organizations in a particular way. Here, new governance models featuring competition, efficiency and effectiveness not only clash with traditional ideas of bureaucratic regulation but also with the norms and standards of professional service delivery. Indeed, the fact that the labor force in welfare organizations is made up of ‘professionals’, meaning people with specific training and expertise, is often overlooked in the process of reforming welfare governance. As a result, the introduction of new modes of welfare governance comes along almost always with organizational conflicts.